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We pass a princess in the lobby, twirling near suitcases,
taffeta and sequins sparkle over her muddied Santa bottoms. 
She rattles a cart piled with gift bags, coats, a blinking Rudolph—
O come all you faithful heralds from speakers in the ceiling.

Santa bottoms beneath, muddy sequins and taffeta sparkle
snow crystals caught on her clothes—remembered angels
in the ceiling herald O come all you faithful from speakers
washed in light. We seek comfort in dark corners, TV glows

like remembered snow angels, crystals catch on our clothes.
A Christmas Story plays, we brush our teeth, uncork the wine
washed in light. A corner TV glows, we seek dark comfort
near a plastic crèche lighting mom’s dining room after mass.

The wine played, we brush our teeth, uncork A Christmas Story
we long for Santa’s plate of sugared Spritz, dad’s peanut brittle
after mass near a plastic crèche lighting mom’s dining room.
Tears burn in wax—family Christmas—old smoke from red tapers.

We plate Santa’s longing—sugared Spritz, dad’s peanut brittle,
a blinking Rudolph, rattling cart piled with coats and gift bags,
Christmas tapers, old wax and smoke. Tears burn red with family.
Twirling near suitcases, we pass a princess in the lobby.

Dawn Terpstra is a poet, writer and beekeeper living in Iowa. Her granddaughter believes she lives in the Enchanted Forest full of lights and woodland creatures. Her recent work appears in Flint Hills Review, Mom Egg Review and Briar Cliff Review. She is an MFA student in creative writing at Pacific Lutheran University.

© 2022, Dawn Terpstra

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